Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fabric Can Be Inexpensive Decorating Tool

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fabric Can Be Inexpensive Decorating Tool

Article excerpt

Q: We have just rented a ranch that was built in the 1960s. It has no charm -- repeat, no charm. I'm depressed over the prospect of being here even for the two years my husband's company plans to keep us at this branch office. We don't want to spend much money fixing up a rental, but I can't live like this. I need help.

A: Then think of fabrics. Peerless at camouflaging and adding color, fabrics lead the can-do parade to effective, inexpensive renovations. Right behind come other surface-deep change agents like paint and wallpaper, standing screens, wall-sized mirrors and pieces of furniture that are large and architectural enough to look built in.

Armed with such illusion-making allies, you can coax character and charm into the most painfully plain rooms, without ever lifting a hammer.

The bedroom we show here proves the point. A generous helping of color- and pattern-rich fabrics conjures the warmth of traditional French provincial in a contemporary room that can be described most kindly as "nondescript." Read: no moldings, no fireplace, no architectural amenities of any kind.

The fabrics work magic on the nothing space. Served up in layers of compatible colors and designs (not difficult, because they're all from Waverly's "Colors of Provence" collection), they fill the eye -- and tease it. Notice that the toile on the canopy repeats on the window seat curtains, that the paisley lining reappears on the bed skirt, that stripes pair up with a floral pattern on the bed. By interweaving patterns and colors this way, you generate visual energy.

Q: I think I made a mistake when we moved into this house less than a year ago. We were in a huge hurry to make things livable. I work at home and had a 3-year-old, so we just started in papering and painting. I'm still happy with most of our decisions, but not the downstairs. …

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